Share a book every day - Professional Information

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Early Years Provider Guidance

The aim of the project is to work with early years children to improve speech, language and communication which should over time improve their literacy skills. 

We are proposing to encourage parents and carers to Share a book every day with their child.

Providers will monitor children to ensure they share a book every day, either at home or in the provision.

Process Suggestions

Child and parent/carer select a book from the lending library

Parents/carers share the book every day with their child and add a short comment to the Share a book every day record

Providers check the record every day and if the child has not shared a book at home, the provider will try to ensure they do share a book during the session.

Providers look at the types of books being read to ensure the children are experiencing different reading materials and also to identify any areas of special interest they may have which can be shared during the setting activities.

Suggestions for starting the scheme with parents

Explain how it works and the importance of sharing books with their child/children every day. This could be a coffee morning or just a few minutes as parents arrive to collect their child at the end of a session.

If you have meetings with parents to discuss Progress Checks, perhaps you could have a display to launch the scheme.

Could you ask parents to donate a book/s to the scheme? 

You may like to have an event or even a fund raising event to launch the scheme to parents and carers. 

Share a book coffee morning / parent's evening/session

Retention of Books

Please expect that some of the books will get damaged or lost, sensitively consider how you approach families when this happens, normal wear and tear is acceptable.

Ideas for sourcing books

Fundraising with parents, this could be a special event organised to fundraise for the books you will use for the scheme.

Donations from parents, perhaps you could ask for a book rather than end of term gifts for the staff or ask families to support the scheme by donating a book.  

External funders - you could try organisations such as Lions, Round Table, Rotary, Freemasons (you will be able to find out a contact name if you search the organisation online or your local library may be able to help)

Charity shops - many charity shops have a huge number of good quality children's books and many well put them to one side for you.

Car boot sales - often parents are clearing out their children's books when they have outgrown them and they are usually quite cheap.


More than 1.4 million children and young people in the UK have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). 

Language disorder alone is one of the most common disorders of childhood affecting nearly 10% of children and young people everywhere throughout their lives.

In areas of social disadvantage this number can rise to 50% of all children and young people, including those with delayed language as well as children with identified SLCN.  Statistics quoted in Bercow: 10 Years On 

An independent review of provision for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs in England. March 2018 

Every year, 150,000 of the UK's poorest children start school with language skills a year and a half behind their peers - a gap most will never recover from. Taken from National Literacy Trust 2018

Small groups 1:1, 1:2, gives children the opportunity to delve into the pictures and to go back and review what they have seen and heard. Large group stories do have some impact but for those children who you know will only hear stories in your setting they are not likely to be sufficient. Penny Tassoni advises that the ideal would be for every child to have one shared book a day. Obviously, this would prove to be a challenge but you could identify children who you know will not be read to regularly at home, which she says are the unlucky children, and try to share a story with them every day. Tassoni, P Reducing Educational Disadvantage2016

Ready to Read was published in 2015, The document states that; Being able to read well is vital for a child's prospects at school and in life. Yet every year, almost 148,000 children leave primary school in England unable to read well. This includes one third of all children growing up in poverty. For many, the impact on their life chances is likely to be dramatic. This national failing helps explain the persistent educational divide in England that, each year, prevents thousands of our poorest children from fulfilling their potential.

Language and literacy are entwined.  It is not possible for children to become literate unless they have mastered language, and so the first priority is always to support children's language. Tassoni, P 2016 Featherstone Reducing Educational Disadvantage.

Other Useful Sources of Information


Page last reviewed: 17/08/2023

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